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Tokelau is a dependent territory and island country in the South Pacific. Home to about 1,500 people, what is unique about Tokelau is that its capital rotates each year between its three atolls.
It is considered a sovereign state and is the first nation in the world to be completed powered with solar power.
Sometimes referred to as the Union Islands, a permit is required to gain entry. Medical certification and a background check must occur in Samoa for this permit to be granted. For most visitors, it takes about 14 days to process the permit application once the needed documents are received.
That means the best way to visit Tokelau is to visit Samoa, stay until the permit is approved, then book passage on the MV Tokelau, which can take several weeks to get a berth.
Tokelau does not have a port or harbor and service runs just twice per month from Samoa.
You’ll be staying at the Luana Liki Hotel when you reach Tokelau. It’s the only commercial accommodation in the country, though the occasional home stay is permitted. Camping is sometimes permitted on the private Sydney Island as well.
Then expect a quiet, peaceful experience. Life moves slower on Tokelau and the people are deeply religious. Attending church on Sunday is an expectation, which means much of the country shuts down.
It can be quite difficult to reach Tokelau, but if you have enough time to do so, this small nation offers some of the warmest hospitality in the world. This can be an amazing adventure.